Trans Woman Inclusion and Safety

August 24, 2008

I need to start advertising Beyond Inclusion: Trans Women as Equal Partners in Feminism more now that Hypatia has said they don’t want it, because discussions like this one are really hard for me to deal with, but I can’t spend the time to write out that essay all over again to explain why.

But, in a couple words:

1)Whose safety? Which women’s safety? Who is most likely to be assaulted, harassed, or abused in “women’s” space? Oh right. Which survivors? Who is most likely to be a survivor of (sexual or other) violence? Oh right. (who’s most likely to not survive it?)

2)It ain’t women’s space if trans women aren’t allowed. What the fuck is this “allowing” business anyway, who gets to do it and why?

3)A space isn’t trans woman inclusive just because we get to walk in the door–not unless it takes our concerns seriously. Or WOC inclusive unless it takes their concerns seriously–which Koyama talks about in a much less oppressive essay than “The Transfeminist Manifesto” or “The Unspoken Racism of the Trans Inclusion Debate,” the ones generally cited… Disloyal to Feminism is a really good essay that takes trans women seriously while being focused on a larger issue which includes us/them.  …And it isn’t women’s space at all if we’re not all equal co-determiners, y’all. (it’s [white] [cis] [able] [upper/middle-class] [etc] women’s space)

4)The theoretical presence of 1-5% of participants having penises–not even visibly so–is triggering, but walking in your daily life with around 49% people with penises? …Is what? …Again, “triggering” for who?

All these and more in previously mentioned essay, plus: “male privilege”! $5 plus postage. (heh)


7 Responses to “Trans Woman Inclusion and Safety”

  1. I’m trying to not use words like “include” or “allow,” and focus on words like “exclusion” and “discrimination, because of course the former makes it sound like it’s something graciously granted.

    Dw3t-Hthr, who is triggered by penises wrote something about that too.

  2. Also, may I ask what’s oppressive about the two essays you mentioned?

  3. Sorry for spamming your blog today, but:

    Have you read blog post by Emi Koyama? That may address what you were saying about the Transfeminist Manifesto.

    Also, the “inclusion” language is from the report I was quoting. I don’t believe in “cis women should include trans women” or “cis women should make space for trans women” as all of that kind of language is patronizing and privileged. Unfortunately, I couldn’t change report’s name. I do think the report has a lot of information that people who talk about this stuff should know.

    I also write from the position that trans women are not inherently a threat to cis women – and from what Emi Koyama’s said, cis women survivors aren’t a threat to trans women in shelters.

    I completely agree with 3) and I want to write about that too. The need for trans education is discussed at length in the report I linked, although I didn’t quote any of it.

    I did write about how survivor voices are coopted to justify anti-trans discrimination, and how this ignores triggers in general and only protects against one kind of trigger (which isn’t protection, and no one should be working from a stance of protecting survivors from triggers on this kind of policy level).

    I’m really curious about your essay, now. 🙂

  4. Cedar said

    Well, I’ll figure out a distro & payment solution shortly? It’s fucking long and took a lot of effort, so I’ve been asking for donations, but it’s also what-you-can-afford.

    Yeah, actually that essay and the postscript only make me more angry, in that I see “transfeminism” used to describe trans misogynistic shit but rarely anything that even criticizes trans men, so it’s frustrating to have the one resource that is focused on women/female-spectrum folks be recanted.

    My big problems with the manifesto are the male privilege thing and the victim blaming/erasure of trans women’s history thing; with the unspoken racism one it’s basically the same shit. Though, when I look back at the essays I remember that I forget the good parts of them because of the ick that shines through in a couple places.

  5. I admit, after having reread Emi’s stuff last night, I see a lot of places where she lectures trans women on what our priorities should be and how we should define and describe ourselves.

    And when I first read the Transfeminist Manifesto, it wasn’t all that clear to me that Emi wasn’t trans. Not that she was hiding her being intersex, but the way most of her trans-related writing is presented doesn’t exactly put the fact that she’s not trans front and center.

    I completely agree on the male privilege thing, too. I think she’s too quick to assume that what trans women experience growing up is exactly like what cis men experience growing up.

    However, I really think that the point about how it’s okay to label penises as inherently violent and ignore how white skin also represents violence is dead-on.

    Thanks for the explanation, and I actually agree with you. I’m not sure why I thought I didn’t.

  6. Cedar said

    Hey, so the online payment/distro thing for Beyond Inclusion is set up now. So’s you know.

  7. Thank you – I linked and quoted on my blog.

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